Audi Sport to continue e-racing campaign by joining Dakar Rally

Audi RS Q e-tron

After capping its involvement in the Formula E World Championship with a victory at the 2021 season finale in Berlin, Germany, Audi Sport reported that it is thrilled to compete in the Dakar Rally.

The Audi  AG’s high-performance division said that the brand’s debut in the race series will start in January next year.

Audi RS Q e-tron

Audi Sport GmbH Managing Director Julius Seebach, who is also responsible for motorsports programs at Audi, expressed excitement over the company’s latest endeavor in motorsports.

“Audi was the first German car manufacturer to make a factory commitment to Formula E… Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler is the most successful team in Formula E and was a pioneer in this racing series. Now, one of the biggest challenges there is in motorsports awaits us — the Dakar Rally,” Seebach was quoted as saying.

Audi in Formula E

According to Audi, the RS Q e-tron, the company’s weapon of choice in the cross-country rally race, will be wearing key elements found that were used for its successful Formula E project. These include the 250kW motor-generator unit (MGU), e-tron FE07, developed in-house by Audi Sport.

A total of three MGUs are mounted in the Audi RS Q e-tron: one in the front axle, one at the rear axle and another MGU matched to the Audi TFSI internal-combustion engine that “functions as an energy converter that recharges the car’s high-voltage battery on-the-go. Providing an electric quattro drive, these powertrains — which only weighs less than 35 kilograms— achieve a 97-percent efficiency rating."

Audi Sport has signed up for the Dakar Rally the pairings of Stephane Peterhansel and Edouard Boulanger, Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz, as well as Mattias Ekstrom and Emil Bergkvist.

Audi e-tron GT

“The brand’s return to rallying with an electric vehicle comes around full circle as Audi Quattro revolutionized the sport with all-wheel drive. Today, Audi’s permanent all-wheel drive quattro is standard in many of its production models, and even comes in electric form in the all-electric e-tron vehicles. The experience gained in Dakar will be incorporated into the development of Audi’s electric-powered production models,” Audi noted in its statement.

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team had collected 1,380 points in 84 races, 14 victories and 47 podium finishes while driver Lucas di Grassi won the drivers’ title in the 2016/2017 season. In its first season as a factory team, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler clinched the teams’ title at the first attempt in the 2017/2018 season.

Photos from Audi

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